How to Survive the First Week Home with Baby

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The idea of bringing home a baby only like 24-48 hours after she’s introduced to the world made me panic for weeks before she was due. That’s just like 2 days (at most) of nurses helping me!

Babies don’t come with a manual, but they really should. Since I’ve done this a couple of times now, though, I feel like I might finally know How to Survive the First Week Home with Baby. Or, I may be deluding myself. Either way, it’s a good plan.

how to survive your first week with a new baby

The “you’ll get sleep while in the hospital because nurses will help” idea is a lie.

Before I get into the really good stuff, I want to touch on something you might be betting on as a new mom…

The thought that you’ll get some last-minute much needed sleep because ya know, nurses will help care for your baby once you’ve had her so you can get some sleep.


You see, this time around our hospital’s policy had changed and they encourage (more like force) moms to have their baby the entire time in the hospital unless the baby is needing to be monitored in the nursery.

Even then, they have a 3-hour time limit.

No, I am not kidding.

In fact, my daughter was a bit spitty after she ate so they took her for monitoring for 3 hours and I am not lying when I say they brought her back into the room to the minute when the 3-hour limit was up.

These first parent tips will help you survive your first week home with baby

Look, I am not complaining because my baby is my responsibility and I don’t disagree with the mom/baby bonding that can happen with being together all the time.

I was just surprised and a bit sleep deprived.

I can say that this time around, I feel like I gained even more experience of surviving the first week with a new baby because of that experience and it led me here…

The plan.

The plan for surviving it all. The good, the bad, the sleep deprived and the dirty diapers.

Having a plan made me feel so much better. I’ll be remembering all of this should I ever end-up with a bun in the oven again! LOL!

Simple mom tips to survive your first week home wth baby

Panic then move on!

Each time I’ve had a baby, my panic has mounted as my due date neared. And on the day-of I totally got the “deer-in-the-headlights” feeling when they said she was about to be my responsibility. EEP!

But look, I’ve survived and so can you. I had my moment (or moments) of panic and then I moved on to be a damn good mom and if you or someone you know is having a baby soon, you’ll be thankful you came across these tips because you’ll be a damn good one too!

How to Survive the First Week Home with Baby

Plan Ahead for Sleep.

If you have a partner, you need to talk about sharing duties beforehand. Babies eat every 3-hours and experts will tell you that your baby should never sleep more than 4 hours without being woken to eat.

Not to mention their poop and sleep cycle are about the same.

Let your partner (or mom or whoever is helping you out) feed the baby at midnight and 6am while you take the 9pm and 3am.

Even if you’re breastfeeding, pump some during the day so that you can sleep through at least one of those two feeds, even if it’s every once in a while.

Sleep is the only way you are going to survive this new mom thing.

The Power of the Swaddle.

Most babies like to be swaddled and it’ll help them go to sleep and stay that way. Babies love to feel comforted and secure just like they were in the womb so ask the nurses to show you how to do it several times.

It’s an art. Learn it. Love it. Repeat.

And most importantly, buy like 100 receiving blankets so you can do it always, especially while baby needs help regulating his/her temp.

Be sure to get soft ones. Baby’s skin is brand new.

if you can make it through the first week home with baby, you can sirvive anything

Make Feeding Baby Easy.

There’s nothing more annoying than having had an epidural or spinal in your back and it aching for weeks afterward because of your bad posture when you feed your baby.

Get a Boppy Pillow and use it whether you’re bottle feeding or breastfeeding. The support is amazing and it will save your arms, neck and back from hurting.

Don’t be like me. I thought they were superfluous.

I was wrong. They rock!!!

If you were to ask me one must-have baby item besides all the basic obvious necessities, I’d say the Boppy Pillow hands down!

Mom and dad should cherish all the moments of their first week home with their lovely baby

Feed Yourself and Drink.

You need to eat to keep up your strength, keep you from being cranky and to make sure your breastmilk comes-in and stays strong.

Drink lots of water, too. I mean, when you think you’ve had enough water, drink more. There is always room for MORE WATER.

This goes for your partner as well.

Take Care of Your Back.

An epidural or spinal can take some time to get over being sore. Also, your whole center of gravity just changed.

So, try laying-off your back. Think smart before bending.

For example, I don’t know who came up with it, but the inventor of the “second shelf” in the playpen needs a Nobel Peace Prize. I can change a diaper in that and put baby to sleep without hardly bending. No more backache for me.

New mom tips for surviving the first week home with baby

Time is of the Essence.

Imagine a scenario where you’ve been up for over 24-hours while someone tiny and cute yells at you that their 5th dinner isn’t ready, it’s 3am and now you have to microwave water?!

Um, no.

The bottle warmer can shave anywhere between 3-5 minutes off warming a bottle.

So. Worth. It.

Apply that theory to everything and find time-shortcuts. Or just let baby cry. You decide.

Organization is SO Important.

We have way too many things now.

Little outfits (dirty and clean), 100 receiving blankets (again, dirty and clean), bottles (OMG, dirty and clean), breastfeeding equipment (gah! there’s a trend!), and diaper change materials (yup, both kinds).

I have 8 laundry baskets, 45 tubs, 99 wicker baskets and I still don’t have enough. But if I didn’t have all these, there’d be chaos in the streets. I need organization so I can find my brain and so do you.

Find time in your day to organize everything a little at a time. Once you’re done, you’ll feel so much better about things!

A Video to Help You Survive the First Week Home with Baby

Because I can’t get enough of my adorable daughters, I decided a video was in order! In the video, I show you how to swaddle a tiny baby with your receiving blanket, illustrate the awesomeness of the playpen’s upper-tier seating section, and the benefit of using a Boppy instead of a standard pillow.


And just like that, you’ll be a total pro at this whole mom thing and survive the whole first week like it was nothing!

Keep in mind that this is the MINIMUM of what you will need to survive that first week baby is home. If you really want to do more than just get by, go ahead and hire a night-nurse.

tips from a new mom on how to survive your first week home with baby

That’s really the only thing that could make your life much easier! LOL!

Click here to read ten things you probably aren’t doing to keep your baby safe.

How to Survive the First Week Home with Baby

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  1. For some reason I’m not able to see a video 🙁 Only shows a video for a fridge seal hack.

  2. Spinals & epidurals don’t take ages to recover from, especially spinals where the needle is as thin as a hair. (Unless the anaesthetist took 20 attempts which is rare).

    Your back aches after pregnancy because of pregnancy & labour.

    1. sprey I would disagree I’ve had 2 children and I still have weird feelings where they insterted the epidural at.. but I’ve also have tailbone problems too due to daughter being in the birth canal for 30 minutes not allowed to push since doctor was on the way and 2 and a half years later still have problems with both but thankfully not as bad

    2. sorry I would disagree I’ve had 2 children and I still have weird feelings where they insterted the epidural at.. but I’ve also have tailbone problems too due to daughter being in the birth canal for 30 minutes not allowed to push since doctor was on the way and 2 and a half years later still have problems with both but thankfully not as bad

    3. My back still aches. I had to have my epidural removed and put back in correctly. Sounds like you have never had this procedure and if you have, you lack empathy.

    4. @Sarah, I am currently pregnant with baby number 7,my eldest is 24 and he was the only one I had an epidural with and my back has NEVER been the same since,so it doesn’t take a few days to get berrer,sometimes it just doesn’t get better at all.

  3. Would like to see pictures of your baskets in use. New mom little guy came 9 days early and I am still trying to nest in and organize

  4. breastfeeding babies feed far more frequently than 3 hourly.

  5. Oh my, the baby is so cute. She looked like a tiny burrito all swaddled up. I couldn’t stop giggling. This info was super helpful. Thanks!

  6. Please don’t lead mothers to believe these things. Babies shouldn’t go longer than 3 hrs without nursing- but that doesn’t mean they only eat every three hours. This sets mothers up for failure with unreasonable expectations and many mothers will not produce enough milk if nursing that infrequently. When looking at cultures that nurse in demand without influence of pacifiers, bottles, or formula, babies average feeding about every 23 minutes. With my oldest I limited him and it was a nightmare and effected his growth and happiness. With my other children I figured it out and they nursed several times per hour. There is also research that has proven exclusively nursing mothers (not supplementing with bottles part time- even with breastmilk) get more sleep and helps with post partum depression. Other people shouldn’t be feeding the baby in normal circumstances. They should be doing other practical things to help the mother achieve that goal. We have a long way to go with moving from cultural breastfeeding (breasteeeding like formula feeding) to ecological breastfeeding.

  7. I’m a mother of two.
    Please do not follow these suggestions. Make good use of your first weeks to know each other and to understand how you prefere to care your child.
    As already said in other comments, pumping in first weekes if not necessary seems a very bad strategy.

  8. From things I have read online and from what my instructor at my breastfeeding class confirmed was that babies shouldn’t be bottle feed for the first month at least! Breastfeeding is a time to bond with your baby and if you are worried about a sleep routine for yourself, have your partner or loved one get up to bring the baby to you for the feeding. My instructor for breastfeeding also suggested doing “laid back” feeding- have mama in a laid back position while baby feeds resting close to chest- very comfortable to do and especially in bed during the late night/early mornings. Also baby needs to get used to the nipple and bottle feeding that early (first wk back home) can confuse the baby and cause complications in feeding. So stick to the breast and hold off on bottle feeding as long as possible!

    1. I am a very experienced mother of 2 and have cared for MANY babies over the years. Forget all the expert advice and do what works for you. Babies are VERY adaptable and will be just fine. Relax. Enjoy and do what you need to do for you…and your baby.

      1. The perfect comment. THANK YOU!

      2. I think this is the best advice in here honestly

      3. Good advice, babies don’t come with a manual and We all don’t function same way. Find what works for you and stick to it.

  9. A few things I tell my customers are those little flannel receiving blankets aren’t as big as they used to be. When my nieces and nephews were born they were big enough to use to swaddle. Now they make them smaller and it makes it harder to swaddle because there’s not enough there to get the job done. I love muslin blankets. While they provide blankets at the hospital my sister took 2 muslin blankets with her. It’s a good thning she did because her daughter ended up being 9lbs and the hospital blankets were too small too swaddle her in. So make sure the blankets you buy for swaddling are larger than those packs of 4 flannel blankets are.

    I also tell them to make freezer meals. Crock pot saved me. When I had my first I had two older stepsons and my husband to feed as well so I had to be on my game when I brought our daughter home. I spent the last month of my pregnancy making those and putting some away for the first two weeks we’d have a newborn home.

    Sometimes you never know if your going to have a c section or not so I put my pack n play in our living room so if I had to command the whole house from the living room I was ready. If your going to buy a pack n play make sure it does have features like the bassinet insert, diaper changing station and mine has shelves so I can put clothes diapers and blankets in there.

    If breastfeeding and your having issues, don’t hesitate to call the hospital’s Lactation consultant. Have a breastfeeding station ready to go and make sure you have water and snacks nearby.

    If bottlefeeding prepping is just as important. Have the bottles cleaned and ready to go.

    Some hospitals provide this but some don’t so pack dermoplast spray to help with pain from the delivery.

    1. Dermoplast in BLUE not RED ….but the BLUE can is the sh!t also works great on bug bites

  10. I am almost 5 months along with my first baby and this is such an important information since am gonna be a new mom soon. Can’t thank you enough for sharing this!

  11. May I add a few tips?
    1. Try to have someone come in to help you, preferably your Mom, or an experienced relative or friend, at least for the first week until you get into a routine. Use this time to take a shower, shave your legs, make phone calls, etc. Or, feel free to ask your helper to throw on a load of laundry, do some light cleaning, etc.
    2. If you have the time before your baby comes, try to cook up some extra meals and freeze them. That will save time and effort immensely.
    3. If you watch them closely, babies will find a way to communicate their needs and preferences to you . . . you just have to be observant and flexible. As a former (for 8 yrs.) pediatric volunteer to sick children, I was always amazed at the way tiny babies scooted around until they found THEIR “sweet spot” in my arms.
    4. Your baby will try to communicate with you in the only way she can . . . with noise. You will quickly learn what her noises mean, all the better to respond appropriately to them. Also, if you talk to babies, they will listen intently because they LOVE the sound of your voice. Talk about what you’re doing with them, where they are, what that 4-legged “thang” is, and anything else you’re doing. Also, start a singing routine.
    5. MOST IMPORTANT: Remember, you’re the adult and your baby is the kid, not the other way around. In other words, when your frustration starts to boil over and you want to cry, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, then take charge like the confident, knowledgeable woman you are. Babies DO co-operate and they are forgiving.

  12. I am four months and one week pregnant with my first baby. And I’m so nervous. I don’t want to mess anything up. So any suggestion is welcome. I do plan on breast feeding

    1. Hi Tara: Congrats on getting ready to welcome your first baby. If you read lots of books and articles on baby’s first weeks, you’ll get a lot of conflicting advice, all the more to confuse you and make you more nervous. If your mother or mother-in-law is available, do ask them questions about how they dealt with a first baby. Then think about how YOU’d like to behave with your baby, anticipating some of the issues you will face. If you have a partner, do involve him/her in your musings and see how you both feel about things. The best thing you can do is OWN your competence and confidence. Also, you could join a pre-natal group so you could interact not only with other mothers, but also with a group leader. Remember, no question is silly, and all questions have answers. Think positive and remember to enjoy your baby . . . in retrospect, you’ll find that they don’t stay babies long enough!

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